What is a temperature controller?
A temperature controller, as some of our sharper readers will have guessed, is a device that lets you set the exact temperature of water coming out of your taps. These systems are also called 'water controllers'.
How a temperature controller works
Temperature controllers can be installed directly onto the piping next to your hot water system, or can be installed for individual outlets. Temperature controllers regulate the heat coming out when the hot tap is turned on by adding a certain amount of cold to the mix.
They can be preset with a range of temperatures, depending on the application they are most used for and this is where they really start to earn their keep. For example, you could set your ensuite shower temperature to 43°C, your dishwasher the full 50°C and your child’s bathroom tap at 30°C, and then simply turn on the hot taps without having to add any cold.
This also eliminates fluctuations in temperature when other taps are in use, as it is regulating those too. Certain models have functions that allow you to fill your bath at the press of a button, and will shut off automatically after filling the bath to a certain volume at the desired temperature.
The benefits of installing a temperature controller
The main benefit is safety. The hot water in a storage tank is typically set at around 60°C to kill any bacteria - in theory, the temperature at the tap should be limited to around 50°C. At 60°C it takes 6 seconds for an adult to develop a deep scald and 1 second for a child. By being able to regulate the water temperature, this hazard can be avoided.
The ease of operation will also save a great deal of time and water. Instead of having to juggle the temperature between cold and hot water taps, turning on one tap and having that temperature stay constant can cut a great deal of time and water waste from bathing – a serious consideration for large households!
Many temperature controllers on the market have advanced features that may benefit you. Things like wireless control, multiple outlet control and preset hot water output levels can give you all you need to very carefully manage your hot water usage.
Temperature controllers are now mandatory on new hot water systems in some states, so check with your plumber to find out about regulations where you live.